ARTES Entry (SMEs only)

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EMITS reference



Closing date



31. December 2018

ESA offers an exciting opportunity for Small and Medium sized Businesses (SMBs) entering into the field of satellite communications with the ARTES Entry Initiative. This initiative is designed to support SMBs through the stages of research and development for the satcom market. Satellite communications can be a difficult market for smaller businesses to enter. The technical and commercial risks, as well as the perceived complexity of the area, can act as strong deterrents to entrepreneurs and potential financiers alike.

However, satcom provides many exciting possibilities for new technology, products and applications, and it is not only the large enterprises that can exploit these opportunities successfully. The scheme awards development contracts with financial support up to 75% of the activity cost (max €250,000).

In addition to the financial support, ESA will also use its expertise and contacts to bring together complementary ideas and ventures in the satcom field.

Who is eligible?

Any small or medium-sized business from a country participating in ARTES SATCOM-APPS that has not worked with ESA in the last 10 years is eligible to apply. Participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

N.B.: The ARTES SATCOM-APPS Programme Element is an optional programme of the Agency, and as such every activity has to explicitly receive the financial support by the National Delegations of the relevant countries of the bidding consortium. The Tenderer shall therefore contact their National Delegation(s) before submitting their Outline Proposal.

How do I apply?

ARTES Entry is based on a "Continuous Open Call for Proposals" which can be found on the ESA electronic tendering system EMITS. We recomend that you download the call for proposal AO8595 and read the documentation as this sets out full details of the process.  

However, the process can be summarised as follows: the application process is divided into two steps to allow feedback on initial ideas.

Step 1 is submitting an Outline Proposal by using the 'ARTES Entry - Outline Proposal Template' from the documents section. ESA evaluates your Outline Proposal, and informs you on the outcome. If you are pre-selected, you will be then invited to submit the full proposal.

Step 2 is submitting a Full Proposal. Please note that this second setps requires Letter(s) of Support by the National Delegation(s) of the countiy(ies) involved in your activity. An evaluation and iteration period follows, in order to reach a common agreement on the content of the activity and to award a contract.

General Information

A "Continuous Open Call for Proposals" has been issued for the ARTES Entry Initiative. It is published on ESA's Electronic Tendering System (EMITS) under AO8595. If you are not yet registered with ESA as an external Entity, i.e. potential bidder / supplier, you will find more information about the registration process on Business with ESA.

Funding Scheme

Funded participation to the ARTES Satellite Communications Applications (SATCOM-APPS) programme is open to any public organisation, commercial client worldwide or space company, residing in any of those states that subscribed to the ARTES SATCOM-APPS programme.

To date, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed.

Funding of the individual Prime or subcontractors is subject to authorisation of the required ARTES IAP budget by the related National Delegation(s). As documented in the ARTES Declaration and Implementing Rules, the delegations are free to decide whether or not to support an entity. Therefore bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from their national delegation before submitting a Full Proposal.

An essential element of the ARTES SATCOM-APPS programme is the sharing of funding by ESA and industry. Activities may be funded by ESA up to 75% of the cost of the project.


Project Cost Funding

Funding Limit

Duration Limit

ESA Tenderer and /or third party
Study Activity 50% 50%  250 kEuro -
Satcom Applications Project 50% 50%   -
Entry (SMEs only) 75% 25% 250 kEuro -